Some tidbits of news that have come my way:
Little Rock, Arkansas doom metal band Pallbearer have completed work on their follow-up to 2012’s acclaimed “Sorrow and Extinction” LP. Entitled “Foundations Of Burden”, the new album sees the present-day doom metal giants create a more expansive, advanced, crushing, and emotionally charged album that takes everything to the next level beyond its predecessor. Musically, the album sees the band strengthen their monolithic melodious structures of doom that have become synonymous with their signature sound. All while incorporating a much more progressive and musically challenging element to their anthems which compliment the huge epic melodies and harmonics even moreso. Where “Sorrow and Extinction” expanded the foundation which Pallbearer laid down with their demo, “Foundations Of Burden” morphs itself into a glorious new vision that is without doubt their most engaging work yet. Recorded and mixed by Billy Anderson (Neurosis, Sleep, Agalloch, The Melvins etc.) at Type Foundry Studios in Portland, Oregon, it will see its release (CD/LP/Digital) August 22nd in the EU and August 25th in the UK.
As Cascadian duo, Wolves In The Throne Room, prepares for the release of “Celestite” — the instrumental companion to their 2011 Celestial Lineage LP — I can offer a foretaste of the impending album with a stream of its magnum opus, “Celestite Mirror.” With over forty-five minutes of stunning, reworked versions of the powerful black metal anthems that surged on Celestial Lineage, on Celestite, the band takes a deeper excursion into the synthesizer-driven domains that have long intrigued them. With the aid of producer Randall Dunn, they unearthed a hidden soundscape that is only loosely tethered to their familiar sound, yet is still unmistakably the work of Wolves In The Throne Room. The scores of renowned sound-sculptors like Carpenter and Eno merge with the band’s Pacific Northwestern inspirations and through a literal wall of vintage synth gear, the previous album is here fully re-imagined and delivered on a parallel existence to its predecessor. The cover art visually enhances these expansive passages with an otherworldly forest vision, a collaboration created by Rachel Carns and WITTR’s Nathan Weaver. “Celestite Mirror,” the most extensive of Celestite’s works, is a nearly fifteen-minute excursion into exploratory soundscapes as vast and beautiful as the band’s surrounding woodlands.
Celestite will see release in the UK/EU on July 7th through the band’s own new label, Artemisia Records, with digipak CD, gatefold LP and digital download editions pending. Preorders are now available http://artemisiarecords.bandcamp.com/
While Celesite bears new “non-metal” and fully synth-based output, the album does not represent a “change in direction” for Wolves In The Throne Room as a whole.
Vancouver’s Baptists have completed work on their second full length, following their 2013 debut “Bushcraft”. Entitled “Bloodmines”, the album was recorded at Godcity Studios in Salem, Massachusetts with with Kurt Ballou – and shall be released via Southern Lord in the UK/EU in September. Like it’s predecessor, Bloodmines is a fast, exhilarating album of rage, oozing with genuine raw emotion and punk rock fury. Shards of feedback make way for fast powerful riffs and savage vocals, whilst explosive drumming pumps blood around the band’s beating heart. On album tracks like “Vistas”, “Calling” and the title track, “Bloodmines”, the pace changes, revealing powerful, almost anthemic, jagged noise rock songs (much like influential San Diego post-hardcore band Drive Like Jehu) which go beyond the two minute mark. Discordant guitar melodies and abrasive vocal passages are elongated, still volatile but perhaps allowing for further contemplation of the band’s underlying message. Not ones to rest on their laurels, Baptists have found new ways to express their rage and with Bloodmines they have created a memorable and commanding album.
As a taster here is a look at their recent Rain City sessions.